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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  May 9, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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first, say everything president obama has done is bad, very bad. and then if that doesn't work, take credit for every good thing that president obama has done. >> there's one company that continues to get free publicity from mitt romney every day, the makers of etch a sketch. >> in 2008, you said, and i'm quoting, we should let detroit go bankrupt. >> that's exactly what i said. >> and then all of a sudden -- >> the companies got back on their feet. so i'll take a lot of credit. >> he's taking credit for saving the auto industry. >> mitt romney saved detroit. >> i'll take a lot of credit. >> or so he says. >> how do you explain this one? >> the auto rescue -- >> let detroit go bankrupt. >> was his idea now. >> what do you make of this chutzpah. >> back a couple of years ago, mr. romney said, let detroit go bankrupt. >> what? >> yeah, they need to go bankrupt. >> hold politicians to account -- >> the companies got back on their feet -- >> for the lies they tell. >> so i'll take a lot of credit. >> certainly amount lot of chutzpah. >> north carolina voting today
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on whether gays and lesbians should be able to get married. >> on amendment one. >> my feelings on this are evolving. >> stop saying your views are evolving. >> just come out and say it already. >> it's not popular in swing states. >> you're against banning gay marriage, but not for it. >> i struggle with this. >> what should the president do? >> he should man up. >> the numbers are shifting. >> support for gay marriage is just about down the middle. >> 50% favor, 41% oppose. >> men marrying men, women marrying women. i am absolutely comfortable. >> obama, i know that you're listening. >> no one's ever doubted i mean what i say. >> joe biden being joe biden. >> the problem is i sometimes say say what i mean. >> are you listening?! mitt romney has a new campaign tactic. taking president obama's successes and saying that he
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would have done the same thing, even though mitt romney is already on record saying that he wouldn't. here was romney trying out the new tactic last week. >> of course that's the same mitt romney who said this in 2007, when he was running for president. >> i do not concur, in the words of barack obama, in a plan to enter an ally of ours and their country in a manner complete with bombing and so forth. >> and now the same mitt romney who opposed president obama's intervention that saved the american automobile industry, that same mitt romney says not that he would have done the same thing, but that he actually did, himself, save the auto industry.
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>> my own view, by the way, was that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help. and frankly, that's finally what the president did. he finally took them through bankruptcy. that was the right course. i argued for it from the very beginning. i pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy. and finally when that was done and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. so i'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back. >> mitt romney taking a lot of credit for saving the auto industry came as a shock to mitt romney supporters. here now is how senator mccain reacted. "romney said that he was responsible for the auto bailout, with asked senator john mccain in disbelief. i'd have to look at the context of his remarks." the obama re-election campaign today was happy to quickly provide that context. >> in 2008 you said, and i'm quoting, we should let detroit go bankrupt. >> yeah, that's exactly what i said. let detroit go bankrupt.
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>> were there some institutions that should not have been bailed out? absolutely. should they have used the fund to bail out general motors and chrysler? no. >> you said, quote, if general motors, ford, and chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the american automotive industry good-bye. >> you said back in 2008, if you write a check, they're going to go out of business. >> if you write a check, they're going to go out of business. >> let detroit go bankrupt. >> let detroit go bankrupt. >> wouldn't that have been disastrous for the economy? >> that would have been precisely the right thing to do for the economy. >> today mitt romney campaigned in michigan where general motors is now the number one automaker in the world thanks to the obama auto bailout that mitt romney opposed. romney didn't talk about the auto bailout in michigan, but he did offer his keen businessman's analysis of the auto industry. >> a good deal has changed, as you know. perhaps most noticeably was the demise of oldsmobile.
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it's a fine car and it was a source of pride for the city. and it was also the source of a lot of good-paying jobs. so it's hard to see it go. >> oldsmobile? sorry to see oldsmobile go? he makes it sound like he was in michigan today, paying respects to the final oldsmobile rolling off the assembly line and waving good-bye to those good-paying jobs that just disappeared when oldsmobile disappeared. president obama, the killer of oldsmobile. right? general motors shut down oldsmobile, which is to say simply consolidated the completely redundant brand of oldsmobile with the brand of buick. they were exactly the same cars, with different names on it. they did that so that general motors no longer had two brands competing against each other. and general motors did that without being ordered to do that by president obama. general motors did that before
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barack obama got elected to the united states senate. general motors the did that back when john kerry was running against george w. bush for president. and mitt romney, today, brings up, quote, the demise of oldsmobile, in today's presidential campaign. the problem for mitt is the people who know exactly when oldsmobile was consolidated into buick by general motors are michigan voters. a new reuters poll shows mitt romney trailing president obama nationally among registered voters. president obama leads romney by seven points, 49 to 42%. the president is also leading romney on six of eight issues polled. taxes, health care, medicare, social security, the war on terror and afghanistan. on the other two issues polled, jobs and the economy, and immigration, president obama and
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mitt romney poll in a statistical tie. joining me now is can democratic strategist and msnbc contributor, krystal ball, and "washington post" opinion writer and msnbc political analyst, e.j. dionne. krystal, you remember oldsmobile, right? >> the thing with romney. >> it's like his -- it's like it's his father talking about the automobile industry that he used to work in. >> you just want to shake your head. and he has this habit of he always has to take it that one step too far. that one step that goes even beyond where a normal pandering, spinning politician would go. and you can see that with the oldsmobile thing. you can even see it if you go back to that op-ed, let detroit go bankrupt. if he had just been a little more measured, then he wouldn't have this coming back to bite him now. and of course having to now take credit for the auto bailout. he has no ability to measure himself. remember back when the president had that hot mic moment with the
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russian president, and he -- romney seized on that. but he couldn't just make the political point, he had to say, well, russia is our number one geopolitical foe. like, he can't just dial it back that little t. he can't help himself. >> e.j., i remember my mother's oldsmobile when i was in high school. i think the matt lauer quote, the thing that we just saw matt recite to mitt romney, it's -- he's quoting romney when matt says, if general motors, ford, and chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the american automotive industry good-bye. now, there is is business executive mitt romney predicting for you exactly what will happen to his father's american automobile industry and he was 100% wrong. >> precisely. by the way, i want to announce that i think it's a shame that ford stopped making the edsol
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too. i think a great american loss here. you know, it's astounding. romney seems to think that he can just revise himself and say whatever he wants, and eventually, the fact checkers will just get sick of running the segments. over and over again, he said that president obama apologized to america. the fact checking agencies practically blew up on your screen, saying, no, obama didn't say that, but he kept saying it. in this case, what i think he's trying to do is take what is truly one of president obama's greatest successes and one of the policies that was the least popular when he put nit place, the auto bailout, and try to fuzz up the difference so that people will say, yeah, well, but romney was for managed bankruptcy, forgetting that it was the money part that kept the companies going. and hopes he can just push this issue aside. because i think if obama does win a close race and he wins it because he carried ohio and michigan, the bailout is -- the auto bailout is going to be a huge part of that.
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and romney is just trying to neutralize that by pretending he said what he didn't say. >> e.j., just one quick point. you've talked to these republican operatives, stewart stevens and the guys. you know the guys that are running the romney campaign. do you think that was a scripted moment, that that was sthng omething that the romney campaign sat down and said, hey, take credit, in fact, take a lot of credit for the recovery of the automobile industry? or was that one of romney moments, he's off by himself? >> well, you know, he's said this before. he's said before that he was for a structured bailout. so it doesn't look like an unscripted mitt romney moment. and i do think they want to take that issue away from obama, especially in those two states. so i find it hard to believe that it was just spontaneous. >> krystal, big surprise president obama is leading in the auto states of michigan and ohio. >> yeah. i mean, when you look at the record, certainly, that's what you'd expect.
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and also if you look, in particular, at this new poll in ohio, the gender gap also persists. 19-point gender gap. we saw an 18-point gender gap in a recent poll in virginia. so that also is an issue. but i want to go back to something that e.j. said. he said that romney repeats these things that he knows aren't true, hoping that the fact checkers will just give up. and my fear is is exactly that. that if it's repeated enough, people will believe it. and we've seen this before. i mean, back in the health care debate, republicans started yelling about death panels. and i think a lot of us went, come on, the public's never going to believe that, but they said it enough that the public did, and it didn't matter that it was rated as the biggest lie of the year. it was untrue, but they said it enough that people believed it. and i think romney has learned that lesson and is cynically trying to do exactly what the rest of the members of his party have been doing. >> e.j., isn't there a difference on that strategy when you're doing that one-on-one in a campaign. where wherever you say will be
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directed at another individual, and that individual will respond. when you're just throwing accusations out there about legislation, you're kind of throwing them out into the wind, and there isn't a direct respondent for that. >> i to think it's easier in campaigns, because campaigns are all geared up to respond. although, on the death panels business, there was quite a lot of pushback, both in the media and from supporters of the health care bill. and even if most people don't believe it, you're actually playing the percentages here. you're playing for small margins among certain groups of voters. so even if a majority of people say, well, moim moirm itt romney's lying or not telling the truth about his position, if some small critical percentage says, ah, the difference between him and obama on the bailout isn't that big anyway, and vote for romney for some other reason, that's a net win for them. >> that's all you have to do, is muddy the waters. muddy the waters and make it unclear who really is telling the truth and who really isn't.
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and that's exactly what he's doing throughout his campaign. >> let's listen to something that president obama said today in albany about how republican presidents have dealt with recessions and job losses in the past. >> after there was a recession under ronald reagan, government employment went way up. it went up after the recessions under the first george bush and the second george bush. so each time there was a recession with a republican president, compensated -- we compensated by making sure that government didn't see a drastic reduction in employment. the only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me. >> republicans lost sight of that idea. >> yeah, absolutely. in fact, it's not just republican presidents who have had public sector job growth leading them out of the recession. i mean, historically, that's how it's been done. the government leads the way and the private sector follows.
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this has been quite unique, because the republicans did not allow the president and congress to help the public sector as much as they could, so that's been a huge drag. i would say that and the continued troubles in the housing market are the two huge drags on our recovery. >> e.j., are the republicans going to remember some of their keynesian lessons that richard nixon certainly accepted. >> well, you'd like to think so. although, look, you saw in indiana that richard lugar lost -- everybody's calling richard lugar a moderate. he wasn't a moderate, he was a moderate conservative, at most. it reminds you of rahm emanuel's old line, that the republican party is divided between its small government wing and its no government wing. and that's really what's happening. you look at this recession, 4.2 million jobs have been created since we started to recover in the private sector. 500,000 to 600,000 jobs lost in the government. you find it hard to believe that if republicans were in power, they would have let that happen.
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but their ideology is leading them down that road, and you saw that ideology rejected in europe over the weekend. but i'm not sure that's going to make any difference in the republican party. >> thank you, krystal ball, here in the studio, and thank you, e.j. dionne, on the big screen in washington. thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> good to be with you. coming up, north carolina voters have rewritten their constitution to ban marriage equality in that state, as the president is pressured from within his own party to fully support marriage equality in 2012. and a one-man operation is determined to rewrite the killing of osama bin laden, because that one-man operation thinks the president is taking way too much credit for it. that's coming up. this is delicious okay...
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tonight, north carolina banned marriage equality and civil unions and a democratic former governor told president obama it's time to man up about marriage equality. that's coming up. and the swift voting of barack obama began. in 2004, we saw john kerry's biggest biographical campaign asset turned against him in the campaign by republicans. now they are trying to use the killing of osama bin laden as a political weapon against president obama. they got away with swift voting the last time they tried it. will they get away with it this time? that's coming up. spmpblts and the decider in chief of the romney campaign is still undecided about what issue? send me your guesses on twitter. do it quickly, because that's coming up next.
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inconveniently honest director of hispanic outreach did some panicked outreaching on twitter. "i misspoke. romney's position on immigration is clear." with the romney campaign in immigration damage control today, the obama campaign rolled out another set of new spanish language ads to air in the swing states of colorado, nevada, and florida. the romney campaign has spent exactly zero dollars on ads targeting the neigh's fastest growing voting group. joining me now are erin mcpike, a national political reporter for realclearpolitics.com and alicia menendez of nbclatino.com. alicia, the romney plan on immigration is something he is apparently still deciding about. how quickly does he have to decide? >> i think he's already decided. this is actually one of those
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issues on which he's been pretty clear. he's been pretty clear since 2008. he believes that immigrants should self-deport. he opposes the dream act. he thinks that arizona's sb-1070 should be a model for the nation. so we know where mitt romney is on this. the problem for his campaign is that his current positions make him completely unviable in the general election and therein lies the problem. >> erin, so you get the job of, you know, hispanic outreach at the republican national committee, and you immediately check what everything alicia just said. and so then you're asked, what is romney's position on immigration, and you say, he's deciding? i mean, that -- they didn't kind of come up with something for that answer? >> well, a couple of things. i think this is symptomatic of something larger for the romney campaign, which is that a lot of people don't know much about mitt romney or where he stands. you know, i talked to some republicans on capitol hill just last week who didn't know that when he was governor of
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massachusetts, he took a $3 billion deficit and turned it into a $2 billion surplus. so they have a lot of educating of the voters to do. that's one thing. but as far as immigration, i've also talked to a lot of republicans who think that they need to soften mitt romney's position on immigration, because they know they're in danger of losing many states out west. i mean, i talked to richard land, a very prominent southern baptist, who said this very thing. that mitt romney is to the right of most republicans on immigration and that if they want to win some of these states, these battleground states where hispanic voters are a big part of the winning coalition, they need to get him to come off of some of his rhetoric, like self-the deportation. >> alicia, in 2008, president obama won the hispanic vote, 67 to john mccain's 31. it looks worse now. christian science monitor poll has 80% of hispanic voters at this time supporting president obama versus 12% for mitt
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romney. you didn't think it could get worse than it did for john mccain. >> i included those numbers in one of miss nbc latino pieces, and my editor wrote back and said, these numbers have to be wrong. >> yeah, go back and check those. >> and we fact checked them and they were, in fact, correct. you have a general breakdown with the latino vote. democrats clear 35%. republicans clear 25%, there's 25% up for grabs. the problem with mitt romney, he's not even clearing that basic 25% number. and i think the problem you see is they're starting to understand that getting latino voters to come out and vote for mitt romney is going to be a really heavy lift. their best bet is getting latino voters to not turn out for barack obama. right now the rnc and the romney campaign launching attacks against obama on the economy, on health care, even on immigration. they have no positive message for mitt romney. they have nothing to sell to hispanic voters. that's going to be a big problem for them. >> let's listen to what romney has said about senator marco rubio's version of the dream
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act, which is important since rubio is on his possible list of vice presidential candidates. let's listen to romney on that. >> he and i have spoken about his thinking on his version of a different act than the dream act that's been proposed if the senate. the one that's been proposed in the senate creates a new category of citizenship for certain individuals. the senator's proposal does not create that new category, but, instead provides visas for those that come into the country, that are -- that came in as young people, with their families. i'm taking a look at his proposal. it has many features to commend it, but it's something that we're studying. >> now, see, that's what we mean by not being clear. i'm taking a look at the proposal. how long a look does the presidential candidate get, and erin, there's been a lot of talk about marco rubio, you put him on the ticket, it takes care of your hispanic vote problem. is it possible that you cannot put marco rubio on the ticket
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for maybe a few reasons, but possibly this reason. that you can't come to some agreement with him on a version of the dream act. >> that's possible. and, look, on new year's eve, in iowa, mitt romney said he would veto the dream act in its current form. and so now we see a little bit of backpedal on that. but the larger point about some of this is the obama campaign is shoring up a lot of pieces of its 2008 coalition. whether it's women, young voters, or latinos. and the republicans will say, well, look, he just is shoring up his base. that's nothing. remember, he won a big chunk of this last time. >> when the winner shores up his base, it means something. >> but they're doing it on issues of importance to each of those building blocks of those coalition. before mitt romney can even get his footing as a general election candidate and start talking about the issues to them he wants to talk about, the economy in general.
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so the obama campaign is really far ahead of mitt romney, and they're able to do it based on issues like immigration on women's health, on student loans. this is an important thing for how the trajectory of this campaign is going to go. >> we're out of time, and mitt romney still hasn't decided about the dream act, of marco rubio's edition, anyway. thank you, erin mcpike and alicia menendez. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you. coming up, north carolina voters choose to ban marriage equality. the turnout and the fallout are ahead, along with the politics of marriage equality for president obama. and swiftboating is back. the republicans are trying to turn an obama campaign asset into a obama campaign liability just like they did against john mccain in 2004. now, has the obama campaign learned the lesson of the kerry campaign? that's coming up. and the republicans have a secret plan now that they will reveal tomorrow morning. "star wars" long island. that's a last word exclusive,
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>> when the obama administration's mission to get osama bin laden was successful, president obama killed the republican party's perennial campaign lie that the democrats are weak on national security,
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but republicans have not given up on that lie. and now they're trying to turn the mission to get osama bin laden against president obama. that's in the rewrite. and does today's vote against marriage equality in north carolina put more pressure on prp prm to quickly finish evolving on marriage equality? that's next. north carolina voters have decided to rewrite the state [ male announcer ] this is the at&t network... a living breathing intelligence bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. look. it's so simple. [ male announcer ] in here, the right minds from inside and outside the company come together to work on an idea. adding to it from the road, improving it in the cloud
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i'm going to write down my number, but don't use it. [ laughing ] ♪ [ engine turns over ] [ male announcer ] the all-new subaru impreza®. experience love that lasts. ♪ north carolina voters have decided to rewrite the state constitution, approving a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. north carolina is now the 30th state with an amendment declaring marriage as a union between one man and one woman. 61% voted yes and 39% voted no. today's vote comes as pressure now mounts on president obama to officially express his clear opinion on marriage equality. >> we should man up and say, this is what i believe. and i think he doesn't lose any african-american votes, jonathan is absolutely right. and the people who vote solely
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on this issue, a single-issue voter, gay marriage, none of them are voting for barack obama now and they're not going to vote for him whether he says he's against it. >> as for vice president joe biden, today he remained unapologetic for saying he's absolutely comfortable with marriage equality. >> no one's ever doubted i mean what i say. the problem is i sometimes say all that i mean. >> joining me now is ana marie cox, political columnist for "the guardian" and richard sock sockaretes, a former adviser to bill clinton. thank you both for joining me. richard, why is this pressure building on the president? there isn't actually any governing action for him to take. it seems to be just a request for an opinion. >> well, the president is the leader of our country and hopefully he can lead the
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country in a certain direction, and this is an important national conversation we're having. so we with ought to know where he stands. >> ana marie cox, he said in 1996 when he was running for state senate in illinois that he's in favor of marriage equality, actually, and so it's become very clear that this -- what has evolved is the political difficulty of him saying that as a national candidate. that's really what the evolution has been, isn't it? >> well, what's evolved is his status as a politician. and i think that that's the problem. i mean, the wider the stage, the harder it is to get to everyone. you want more and more people to agree with you. but the thing is, the country is definitely catching up with the president, and may overtake him. as we all know, support for marriage equality is growing. it hasn't stopped. over 50% of the people in this country aren't just in support of civil unions, but actually are supportive of gay marriage. and i think that we're seeing kind of a last gasp here in north carolina.
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that doesn't make it any more disappointing. it's very disappointing, when any state decides to return to the 1950s. but i think that we are looking at a sea change here. and that's why i think the pressure on obama is particularly acute. because here is a chance for him to step forward at a point where it could make a difference. >> but richard, as you know, the favorability of marriage equality is not evenly distributed over age groups. and so it skews younger. the trouble is, the younger voter is the unreliable voter when it comes to actually showing up, and the elderly, the older voters show up. that's where most of the opposition is, it skews by age. so you can see what the politics of this is. let me give you another example. i think we all know the president is absolutely opposed to the death penalty. it is a choice of absolute political convenience that every single presidential candidate in the democratic party has taken since everyone who had a chance on the nomination, since michael dukakis.
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and so we all knows are lying about that. they actually don't favor it. and they're adopting a position for political convenience, which to me is a moral position. i would like them to not take that position. and i know i will never get a chance to vote for a democratic nominee for president who says, i'm opposed to the death penalty, and i'm not going to stand up and demand that he say that. >> well, we can hope against hope, on the death penalty, too. listen, these results are tonight are somewhat disappointing, but it shows we still have a lot of work to do, especially in places in the south, and it's more evidence of why president obama should be leading on this issue. and, you know, we hope he will soon. i mean, i think that they are boxed in on this now. vice president biden's remarks were, you know, kind of off the cuff, unexpected. that was joe being joe. you know, they probably would have been better off if they'd left it like that. you know, if they'd said, that's our guy.
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but they tried to walk it back. and i think they created this firestorm for themselves. and now they're in a little bit of a crisis today, i think, and trying to figure out what to do next. >> ana marie, i tend to see political maneuvering in more than one dimension, so i've been started to wonder as i've watched the involve since "meet the press" on sunday that i'm wondering if the obama re-election campaign thinks this is good for them to have a pressure publicly coming at them from their left, which president obama is resisting. so that he can -- so that this can help him appear more appealing to the middle. >> yes. the lesbian sister souljah moment or something like that, that is the wheels within wheels within wheels. i think you might be relying on your west wing tv show experience a little bit. i'm not sure if the game is that complicated. i think the obama campaign would prefer that it be a little more simple. and i do think you're right.
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i think this is a tough situation for someone with actual moral values, which i would hope that the president has. someone like mitt romney can change his position on something like this, and we don't worry so much. i do think, and i want to -- you know, i feel a little silly being so hopeful, because this is such a disappointing election return, but i do think we're seeing the last election where both parties are going to put someone forward that is against marriage equality. i really do think as a country we're moving forward on this. and i think that we're also seeing in this case, you know, minnesota, actually is a very strong possibility that this very similar amendment will not pass. and i think it's because voters are getting tired, tired of trying to weigh in on this. it just doesn't have the same attraction to voters as it did four or eight years ago. >> let me note one thing ana marie said, i really don't think the president is against marriage equality. i think he is, this evolving position, at least we know he maybe is near for nor against. he's someone in the middle. >> he's for it. he's just saying this politically, come on. >> i think that's right. and whether he announces, officially, his change of
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position before or after the election, he's been a terrific gay rights president. he's really moved the ball forward and he's going to get a lot of support in the gay community, but more importantly, he's going to get a lot of support from all americans who care about equal rights for all citizens, whether they're gay or lesbian or hurt eterosexual or whatever. >> and my last statement on this, four years from now, the favorability will be up around 60% and the democratic nominee will be in favor of it. richard, ana marie, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. coming up, "star wars" is back, and this time it could be twars long island. that's the the republican plan to put democrats on the defensive on national defense. a last word exclusive is coming up. and the republicans are started swiftboating president obama. that is trying to turn one of his biggest campaign assets into
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a liability. what have the obama campaign and the democrats learned since jm ohn kerry was swiftboated in 2004. that's coming up. the republican that emt to turn the mission to get osama bin laden into a political liability is next in the rewrite. dude you don't understand, this is my dad's car. look at the car! my dad's gonna kill me dude... [ male announcer ] the security of a 2012 iihs top safety pick. the volkswagen passat. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease the 2012 passat for $209 a month.
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. good evening. tonight, i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda, and a terrorist whose responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. >> with those words, just over one year ago, republicans realized president obama had taken from them their permanent campaign theme, the democrats are weak on national security. but now a secretive right-wing group calling itself veterans for a strong america is attempting to rewrite the
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political value of the obama administration's successful mission to get osama bin laden. they believe they can turn it into a liability for president obama. >> i said that i'd go after bin laden if we had a clear shot at him and i did. i did. i did. i did. >> veterans for a strong america is actually, as far as we know, only one veteran for a strong america. it has only one employee, its self-proclaimed executive director, joel aarons, who said, "yes, it's the swift boating of the president in the sense of using what's perceived to be his greatest strength and making it his greatest weakness." the republicans did this to john kerry in 2004. they tried to take his greatest
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biographical asset away from him, having volunteered for combat in vietnam. having been wounded in vietnam. having been awarded medals for valor, medals for his heroism in combat. they lied about him and some people, we don't know how many, but some people believed the lies about john kerry. and the morning after the 2004 election, when the final, very narrow margin of victory was calculated in the state of ohio, john kerry had to concede that presidential election and in effect concede to a lie. joel aarons is a former campaign operative. he and his anti-obama video have been praised by karl rove on twitter. we know what the republicans have learned about swiftboating. you can get away with a lie to some of the people, some of the time, and that just might be enough people to win you a
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>> you have learned much, young one. >> you'll find i'm full of surprises. >> a recent nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows president obama with a ten-point lead over mitt romney, 43% to 33%, on the question of who would be a better command in chief. and a recent abc news/"washington post" poll shows president obama with a seven-point lead over mitt romney, 47 to 40% on the question of who would be better at handling terrorism. don't worry, we're getting to "star wars." so what is the new republican strategy to reestablish their historic polling lead over president obama and the democrats on national security? >> admiral, we have new ships. >> it's a trap! >> that's right. "star wars" is back, and this time, it's the east coast
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version. tomorrow, house republicans are forcing a committee vote on a new missile defense system to be built on the east coast and designed to prevent a nuclear attack from, guess where -- >> iran is the world's national, um, supporter of terror, and has as its objective the -- in the words of their president, president ahmadinejad, the elimination of our friend, israel. what's important for us is to not to allow iran to become a nuclear power and not to be able to provide that fissile material to. >> and against the destructive aspirations of international criminals in the region, is for the united states to double down on a policy of direct engagement. >> joining me now for an
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>> joining me now for an exclusive interview is bud cusack, managing editor of "the hill." >> this is the headline story in tomorrow's edition of "the hill." this is kind of amazing, bob. "star wars" is back and they really are marking up a bill in committee, in the house tomorrow, where they're going to introduce, you're reporting that they want to spend $100 million to get this thing started? >> yes, and lawrence, this would only be the start of it. >> this is just to start opening the pages of something like this. >> to actually set up this missile defense site on the east coast would be billions of dollars, maybe $2 billion, maybe $4 billion, depending on if you're talking to democrats or republicans. democrats saying republicans are playing politics, but they want to move forward on this so that by the beginning of 2016, there is a missile defense site along the east coast. there is one in california and alaska, but not on the east coast. some democrats are saying, we
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can't afford it, but republicans moving forward. and this is the first step. whether it gets out of the house, we'll see. but the president hasn't said anything on it. but republicans want him to say something on it. >> and one of the many reasons there isn't one on the east coast is there isn't even a theoretical possibility of someone attacking the east coast this way. the theory is that china might some day be capable of doing it on the west coast. but we're moving into such a relationship with them that it will never happen. so, are the republicans here going to the try to politicize this vote tomorrow in terms of how tough are you on iran? you've got to build this thing, you know, somewhere in north carolina or long island, or something, to prevent iran's aspirations for blowing us off the face of the earth. >> definitely, it's the campaign season. this is a new idea. this has not been around before. so this idea is going to be talked about, i think, a lot in the coming weeks. it's a big deal. congress usually doesn't come up with big ideas.
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they come up with incremental ideas. this one is probably not going to become law anytime soon, but republicans are going to use it on the campaign trail. they want to chip away at that lead. they say, well, we can't afford not to do it. >> and "star wars" is a misformer misnomer for a variety of reasons. in the movie, the technology works really good and the missile defense system doesn't. they have never once, in any of their tests, intercepted a so-called target missile without completely rigging it and make -- you know, so the thing couldn't possibly not hit it. they used to miss them buy hundreds of miles on these things, and still, still the republicans are going to push $100 million into this budget tomorrow, and they can do that in the house. they have the votes, i assume, right? >> yes. they can ram it through the committee level, and on the house floor. >> and there has been a long question about efficacy. they've gotten better, but a long way from being efficient. but they say they need to spend the money to get more efficient. >> they have never once fired one of those test rockets up there and then shot it down with a missile shield missile,
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without signaling to the missile, hey, here's where it is. it's such a cheat, the way they do these tests. but are there local congressmen who are fighting for this thing saying, hey, i want this in north carolina or i want this in maine, has it come to that level yet? >> not yet. it's a little bit too early, but i'm sure we're going to get to this point where this is going to be a big battle for defense pork. certainly if this $100 million goes forward, there's going to be a lot of congressional elbows trying to get at that money. >> an amazing waste of money. bob cusack, managing editor of "the hill," thank you very much for this exclusive tonight, bob. >> thanks, lawrence. >> you can have the last word online at our blog, the last word@msnbc.com. biden rings the wedding bells. let's play "hardball."

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